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Obama administration orders Blue Cross to keep Obamacare enrollment numbers secret

Friday, October 25, 2013 by: J. D. Heyes
Tags: Obama administration, Obamacare enrollment, Blue Cross

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(NaturalNews) In the past week, there has been a smattering of reports that some Americans - finally - have managed to actually sign up for healthcare insurance using the government's Obamacare exchange (Healthcare.gov). But what is equally clear by now is that the Obama administration, for some reason, has been very quiet about the actual number of people who have signed up.

The only explanation for that is this: the numbers must be pitifully low.

Already, most Americans know the roll-out of the Obamacare online exchange was a disaster. It was - and remains - prone to glitches, hang-ups and unacceptable delays, and that's if you can make any progress on the site at all.

'Don't publicize the numbers'

Now comes a report that the White House has asked North Dakota's largest health insurer "not to publicize the number of people who have enrolled for health insurance through a new online exchange," according to the state's principle news website, Inforum:

During [an Oct. 21] forum in Fargo for people interested in signing up for coverage via the exchange, James Nichol of Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota told the crowd his company received the request from the federal government earlier... Nichol is a consumer sales manager for the company.

Still, a spokeswoman from Blue Cross Blue Shield says about 14 North Dakotans have signed up for coverage since the federal exchange went live Oct. 1. That brings total statewide enrollment to 20 - less than one a day.

Andrea Dinneen, a company spokeswoman, told the news site that, though Blue Cross generally does not release internal sales numbers, it has done so this time because of the problems encountered during the fiasco of the federal Obamacare roll-out, labeling it a "unique situation."

Dinneen further stated that she did not have any information regarding the directive referenced by Nichol.

None of the figures are huge

More from Inforum:

An official from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, one of the main... federal agencies handling the federal marketplace, would not directly address questions about the request made of Blue Cross Blue Shield, including whether other insurers were also asked to keep quiet about enrollment.

Representatives from the two other North Dakota companies offering coverage on the federal exchange - Medica and Sanford Health - said they had not received similar directions.

Officials in a number of the 14 states that set up their own health insurance exchanges under provisions of Obamacare have also released some initial numbers, and they are not huge by any count. Minnesota officials, for example, have said that just 3,700 people in that state had begun the enrollment process through that state's exchange, called MNsure.

But in the other 36 states which have refused to set up their own exchanges and instead deferred to the federal exchange, "releases from individual insurers like Blue Cross Blue Shield are the only avenue to get enrollment figures until federal officials release statistics, likely sometime in mid-November."

Sebelius and the president didn't know? Sure...

Reports say that the online exchanges will route health insurance consumers to the few providers who have elected to participate in the exchanges and who have been blessed by the almighty federal government to have "qualified" under provisions of the massively complex and expensive Affordable Care Act, the formal name for "Obamacare."

Meanwhile, on Capitol Hill and in the mainstream media, finger-pointing and blame are being heaped on the administration for fouling up so badly the Oct. 1 launch of the federal exchange - though the government had years to build it and spent hundreds of millions of dollars.

Some have called for Health and Human Services director Kathleen Sebelius to resign or be fired, but those who want that are conveniently forgetting that the president himself - despite being warned in February by officials tied to the launch that the site wouldn't be ready - pushed to maintain the Oct. 1 deadline [http://www.nytimes.com].

Sebelius, being the good little politico that she is, is attempting to fall on her sword by lying to CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta in a recent interview, saying the president (and HHS, for that matter) had no idea the site was so poorly designed and nonfunctional [http://www.cnn.com].

The American people ought to be taking one principle lesson from all of this: the federal government, quite obviously, is incompetent and incapable of "running" your healthcare system.





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